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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has honored UT’s Yuntao Wu with the 2017 Radiation Instrumentation Early Career Award, a top honor for young faculty.

Yuntao Wu
Yuntao Wu

Wu, a research assistant professor in materials science and engineering, was honored for “significant and innovative technical contributions to the fields of radiation instrumentation and measurement techniques.”

Given by IEEE’s Nuclear and Plasma Science Society, the honor comes for Wu’s work with the Scintillation Materials Research Center at UT.

The SMRC, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, is dedicated to the development of innovative materials for state-of-the-art radiation sensors and imaging systems.

“The center has provided me resources and support to help me achieve fruitful personal development,” said Wu. “They have inspired me to investigate all sorts of interesting ideas and have motivated me to find solutions and answers.”

Scintillation is the ability of certain materials to absorb radiation and emit a light or a glow.

That property makes them useful in everything from nuclear security to medical applications, both areas where Wu has played a role in research while earning 10 patents in the US and China.

His research includes work in diverse areas:

  • Solving problems that had previously limited medical imaging
  • Coming up with a new type of crystals and new way to grow them with direct impact on nuclear security
  • Developing lithium containing scintillators for neutron detection

Wu will receive the award, a plaque, and $1,500 at the IEEE/NSPS annual meeting in Atlanta this week.


David Goddard (865-974-0683,